TV chef Lorraine Pascale on the backlash she faced after ditching the catwalk for the kitchen

'They all said I should just stick to modelling!' TV chef Lorraine Pascale on the backlash she faced after ditching the catwalk for the kitchen

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UPDATED:

07:41 GMT, 4 September 2012


Disbelief: Lorraine Pascal said people were shocked that she planned to leave her modelling career behind to become a chef

Disbelief: Lorraine Pascal said people were shocked that she planned to leave her modelling career behind to become a chef

She launched into the spotlight as a model, but Lorraine Pascale has managed to become of the UK’s most popular TV chefs in perhaps one of the most unlikely high profile career changes of recent years.

The 40-year-old star of BBC cookery shows Baking Made Easy and Lorraine’s Fast, Fresh And Easy Food, opens up about turning her back on the catwalk in a new interview with Good Housekeeping, admitting that few people took her culinary dreams seriously.

‘There was a lot of negativity and
jokes from others when I was doing all these courses,’ she says.

‘A lot
of people were laughing at me, saying, “What’s she doing, why doesn’t
she just stick to modelling”’

‘It
was quite hard, but I kept going. I’m a grafter, and my mum’s always
taught me that you only fail when you stop trying – so I just kept
trying!’

Lorraine
was discovered by Naomi Campbell’s agent at the age of 16 and worked
alongside stars such as Kate Moss during her 17-year modelling career.

She
was the British black woman to appear on the cover of American Elle and
appeared in advertising campaigns for Versace and Donna Karan.

However
the mother-of-one says she struggled with the pressures of the fashion
industry and eventually realised she needed to pursue her true passion –
baking.

‘I learned that it’s important to do a
job you love!’ she says. ‘And how insecure women are.

'People assume
that because these girls are gorgeous, everything’s all fine, but it’s
not.

‘No
one’s going to pity models for this, but when you’ve only been judged
on your looks and nothing else, you wonder if people really like you for
who you are. So it can be empty.’

Lorraine admits that she finds the attention that comes with being a TV personality strange and doesn’t enjoy being recognised.

‘It seems weird when I’m on television to say that I don’t like all the attention being on me, but it’s true,’ she says.

‘When
I’m filming TV, it’s just me and the crew, and I don’t think about the
people at home watching, but at a party there’s a room full of people
with everyone looking at you – it’s different.'

Lorraine, whose cooking books have
sold almost one million copies in the UK alone, says she finds
inspiration for her dishes everywhere she goes, particularly while
travelling to different countries.

’I
travel and eat out a lot, so sometimes I get my inspiration from eating
an amazing dish,’ she says. ‘Even just seeing a pile of beautiful
cherries I the market can get me thinking about what I could do with
them.’

Insecure: 'No one's going to pity models for this, but when you've only been judged on your looks, you wonder if people like you for who you are'

Insecure: 'No one's going to pity models for this, but when you've only been judged on your looks and nothing else, you wonder if people really like you for who you are. It can be empty'

And
while she admits that juggling a successful career with motherhood
means she gets very little sleep, Lorraine is happiest when spending
time with her teenage daughter Ella.

‘She’s
growing up so fast so I love spending time with her. And also when I’m
by the sea. I used to live by the Thames in London and there is
something just really relaxing about being near the water.’

The
full interview with Lorraine Pascale appears in the Special Anniversary
October issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale Monday 3 September

Lorraine Pascale

Lorraine Pascale

Top model: Lorraine was discovered at the age of 16 and appeared in campaigns for Versace and Donna Karan

BBC star: Lorraine has become one of the the UK's most popular TV chefs

BBC star: Lorraine has become one of the the UK's most popular TV chefs

The latest issue of Good Housekeeping is on news stands now

The latest issue of Good Housekeeping is on news stands now

The full Lorraine Pascale interview in the Special Anniversary October issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale Monday 3 September. Also available as a digital edition.